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Learning to Relax: Giving the Mind and Body a Break

The current state of the world has many people on edge, and some may find themselves more stressed than they have ever been. Many are facing employment issues and therefore also may be struggling with money issues. Others find themselves faced with worsening mental health or other vastly personal issues. COVID-19 has left many of us trying to adapt and recover to the new “normal” we are living in currently. The constant worry of what’s to come next takes a large toll on the mind and body, and over time this can build up and become too much for a person to handle. So, before it becomes too much, take some time to yourself and learn the ways that best suit you to relax your mind and body. Keep in mind that the mind and body are connected, and therefore, many of these methods will work on both the mind and body.

Relaxing the Mind

1. Practice breathing exercises for relaxation. There are lots of videos that can be found on YouTube.

2. Listen to soothing music or music that calms you down. For me, I like listening to classical piano albums.

3. Soak in a warm and soothing bath.

4. Practice mindful meditation, again there are a ton of videos on YouTube that are great for this. I recommend checking out Headspace if you are going to go looking on YouTube.

5. Write in a journal or notebook of some kind to detangle the thoughts that are consuming your energy and time.

6. Try guided imagery. This is when you imagine yourself in a certain setting that helps you feel calm and relaxed.

Relaxing the Body

1. Do some yoga. Many people do yoga as a way to relieve stress that builds up in the body. There are numerous YouTube videos available for all levels of difficulty.

2. Take a walk with a friend or loved one. Getting out and doing some kind of light to moderate physical activity is a great way to relax the body.

3. Have a massage. This can either be done by a professional that you pay for or by a partner. If you choose to do massages at home, then you could take turns massaging one another and everybody wins!

4. Have a warm drink. Stay away from caffeinated beverages or anything alcoholic. Try warm milk or a nice herbal tea. Warm herbal tea is always something I like to drink when I am feeling a little bit run down or stressed.

I know that this is a strange and unsettling time that we are in at the moment. It seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel and each day is either the same or worse than the last. The world is dismal right now, there is no speculation about that. However, that does not mean that we are any less inclined to a little rest and relaxation. When you find yourself buried under the stress try a couple of these techniques to lighten the load again. Keep trying the methods above until you find the ones that seem to work the best for you and remember, while it may not seem like it, there will be light again.

Rachael Stevens

Wilfrid Laurier '21

Rachael is a fourth-year English major at Laurier, with a double minor in German and psychology.
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